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Binyavanga Wainaina featured on BOMB Magazine

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Binyavanga Wainaina featured on BOMB Magazine

21/06/2011

Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina is inexhaustible, a public intellectual very much engaged with the literary and political worlds. His memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, published this July by Graywolf Press, chronicles the multiplicity of his middle-class African childhood: home squared, we call it, your clan, your home, the nation of your origin. It is an impressionistic memoir of the mutability of place and language, told in the first-person present so that, as readers, we are taken through his post-colonial childhood by a hyperobservant, sensitive guide. It moves from his discovery of the power of fiction to college in South Africa, where he started writing in earnest. “Discovering Home,” a personal essay about a family gathering in Uganda, won the 2002 Caine Prize, commonly referred to as the African Booker. While this launched his career, Wainaina is more widely known for what started off as a tongue-in-cheek letter to Granta called “How To Write About Africa.” The stinging satire— “Among your characters you must always include The Starving African, who wanders the refugee camp nearly naked, and waits for the benevolence of the West”—became the magazine’s most-viewed online piece and catapulted Wainaina onto the international stage. He is the founding editor of the groundbreaking Kenyan literary magazine Kwani? and is currently the director of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College. Read More

 

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